Sesame Street Helps Families Discuss Divorce

When divorce happens, many in New Jersey and elsewhere may forget that the people most affected by a divorce — more than the spouses even — are the children involved in the marriage, if there are any. Young children may have a hard time understanding what is going on in a child custody dispute, and parents can sometimes be at a loss to explain to the kids that the divorce is not their fault.

Luckily, “Sesame Street,” beloved by kids and adults, is trying to wade into the issue by coming up with new tools to help children and adults cope with the rapid change that often accompanies divorce.

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization that produces “Sesame Street” is introducing the “online tool kits” that cover a range of divorce topics for children ages 2 through 8.

One of the tools for children includes the story “Two-Hug Day,” which illustrates the lives of children who split their time living with each parent. There are also songs that help children express their emotions.

But the tool kit also has resources for parents, caregivers and relatives. They include lessons on what to do when a child starts asking questions about the divorce and how to get children to express their feelings about the divorce to you.

A spokesman for Sesame Workshop said it’s important that these resources be available, since there aren’t many already available to parents and kids. It can also help parents and kids realize that they aren’t the only one who has been through divorce.

And while this won’t solve every problem, it could be a vital resource that parents shouldn’t feel embarrassed about accessing. Divorce is difficult, and utilizing tools to help kids get through it can make the process smoother for everyone.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Sesame Street tackles divorce online,” Heidi Stevens, Jan. 8, 2012